First Aid for Eyes

To lessen the risk of permanent damage caused by eye injuries, it is important to treat eye injuries immediately. Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

For all eye injuries

Do's and don'ts include:

  • Don't rub, touch, or apply pressure to the eye

  • Don't apply ointment or medicines to the eye

  • Don't try to remove an object stuck in the eye

  • Do see a healthcare provider as soon as possible, preferably an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) 

First aid for cuts in or around the eye

Do's and don'ts include: 

  • Bandage the eye gently.

  • Do not rub the eye or apply any pressure.

  • Do not try to remove any particles.

  • Avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. They may increase bleeding.

  • Do not eat between the time of the injury and your evaluation with an eye care provider. This may delay surgical repair, if necessary. 

First aid when foreign particles enter the eye

Do's and don'ts include:

  • Pull the upper lid down onto lower lid and let lower eyelashes sweep away the particle by blinking repeatedly.

  • Let tears wash out the speck or particle.

  • Close your eye and seek medical attention immediately if the above procedure does not work.

  • Do not rub the eye.

First aid for chemical splashes

Here are suggestions of what to do: 

  • Use fingers to separates lids, then flush the eye with water from a faucet or clean container.

  • Seek medical attention immediately.

  • Cover the eye.

First aid for physical trauma to the eye

Here are suggestions of what to do: 

  • Don't attempt to treat a serious eye injury yourself.

  • Gently apply small cold compresses without pressure immediately to reduce pain and swelling.

  • Contact your ophthalmologist, primary care healthcare provider, or emergency room immediately.

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